Sacrifice is the giving of something to a deity. Its role in personal practice varies from individual to individual Some people give at sabbats and holidays, while others give when called. Some traditional ideas include:
- Libations of beverages
- Food and herbs
In terms of what to give for what reason or with what method, well that’s up to you. For myself, I like to use the following guidelines:
- Look to Lore: A lot of myths contain a detail, such as a plant or object, that would be appropriate to give to that God or Goddess. For example, consider 6 pomegranate seeds to Persephone or a feather to Horus. This does not need to be used every time, but it certainly is a good place to start.
- Timing: Is it a day sacred to your deity? Do you think the moon cycle is important to this sacrifice? Or is this something spontaneous?
- Logistics: Living in a dorm room? Can’t burn anything. So what’s your alternative?
- Why: While I think it is important to honor the deities you work with on a regular basis, is there another motive you are sacrificing to deity? Perhaps you need a question answered or clarified. Examine these before proceeding.
One thing I think is rarely appropriate is blood or flesh sacrifice. Yes, I know it is traditional and whatnot, but I am not comfortable with killing animals or injuring oneself in the name of deity. I know some people are called to do that, but please examine all other forms of sacrifice first. And remember a flesh sacrifice can also be a piece of chicken meat from the grocery store, not just a live chicken. If you are called to animal sacrifice, please look at the legal requirements in your state about humane methods and remain disposal.
Regardless of what form you choose, I think it is important to take a moment and properly thank the deity for their role in your life. Obviously that is part of the reason why you are offering the sacrifice to begin with, but I think it reinforces the practice in your mind. The method can be as simple as closing your eyes and thanksgiving quietly.
© Ariadne Woods